One Year In Office: What I Achieved Despite 8 Months ASUU Strike – UI VC, Adebowale

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It is hard to believe that it is already one whole year and a few days that I came here to salute our leaders and the entire Muslim community upon my becoming the Vice Chancellor of this university in 2021. Time flies indeed but as it does, particles of life lessons fall off its wings and claws that we may learn to live with utmost purpose.

Yes, it is one year, and I am back to say ‘thank you to you and to Almighty Allah for what we have been through, and for what He has achieved through us.

As we start the 2022 convocation and the 74th Foundation Day ceremonies of our dear University of Ibadan, I have come to thank you our Muslim Community for your immense contribution to the much we have achieved in about a year. I thank you above all, for being a strong force behind the peace that reigns in the University of Ibadan community, without which we could not have achieved anything.

Despite the crippling industrial actions that took a good part of the year, the University of Ibadan recorded some laudable achievements since the last convocation. Permit me to mention just a few of them.

In the course of the year, the Institute of Education started a monthly free capacity building programme for teachers of Mathematics, English Language, and Basic Science in Oyo State public and private schools. The training programme was tagged: Teacher and Learning Support. The programme kicked off with Mathematics on 4 February 2022. The impactful training brought together 25 Mathematics teachers across Oyo State. It is our modest contribution to building a population of secondary school teachers producing students who are ready for the challenges of higher education at the completion of secondary school.

I am elated to inform you that a 300-level student of the Department of Botany, Akintekun Grace Abiodun, participated in the 2022 National Enterprise Challenge organized by Directors of Entrepreneurship Centres in South West Nigerian Universities. Her agribusiness mobile application FARMERA made it to the second level of the competition, thus emerging as one of the top 10 innovations.

Just as our students are performing brilliantly at home, they are exhibiting the excellent spirit of the University of Ibadan abroad as well. This year, a team of three students from the Faculty of Science was led to the Republic of Benin by Dr I. B. Ayinla for the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), a competition for prestigious universities across the world to showcase their students’ excellent skills and competence in computer programming.  I recall with much gladness that the University of Ibadan representatives won the 2021 edition of the West African Cup of Arab/Africa International Collegiate Programming Contest. These are  testimonies to the giant strides that the University of Ibadan is taking in the area of computer programming.

Permit me to add that our Department of Food Technology, on behalf of the Western Chapter of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST), hosted the 2022 Regional Food Science and Technology Summit. The Summit was held on 6 and 7 June, 2022 at Segun Agagu Hall of the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.

Ladies and gentlemen, I can only mention a few of these achievements. Even without citing those few cases from our myriad outstanding achievements since the last convocation, I am convinced that no one is in doubt that the University of Ibadan still towers highest at 74. Nevertheless, I did cite them because it takes peace to sustain progress and togetherness of purpose to maintain excellence.

We weathered eight months of strike; we are graduating over 5000 people this season despite that strike. Our students clinched important awards, and we contributed immensely to serving the nation in many ways. All these,  in spite of the circumstances that made them twice as difficult as they should have been. In my view, all these happened because we have chosen to work together in peace and as a team. We progress not by ignoring our differences, but by acknowledging and respecting them.

The march is still on. Now the strike is over, and hopefully there would be stability. We need to push forth on our dream to build a world-class university. For this and all others, I hereby solicit your continued support.

Thank you.

– Being an Address by Prof. Kayode Oyebode Adebowale, FAS, mni, Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, to the congregation of the University of Ibadan Muslim Community, University of Ibadan Mosque, during the Juma’at Service Marking the 2022 Convocation Ceremonies on 11 November, 2022

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